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Knowing More on Paper Shredders and Its Types

Paper sheets can be cut into strips or into fine particles by mechanical means and the designed device is called a paper shredder. Generally, government entities, business companies and private individuals make use of paper shredders to destroy confidential, private or other sensitive documents.

The first paper shredder, which was invented by Abbot Augustus Low, never had the success of being manufactured, but, at least, was patented on February 2, 1909. A man by the name of Adolf Ehinger improvised a hand-crank pasta maker into a paper shredder out of a need to destroy his anti-Nazi propaganda, in 1935, and later developed a more convenient way of shredding paper by using electric motor.

The 1988 US Supreme Court ruling on the non-prohibition for search and seizure of left or collected garbage, without a warrant, brought about a rise in demand for paper shredders by private citizens who saw the need to protect their privacy from the ruling. Another law, which is the anti-burning law, also contributed to the need to buy paper shredders. Then came concerns on identity theft, which is the act of obtaining the personal or financial information of another person for the sole purpose of assuming that person’s name or identity to make transactions or purchases, of which the US Federal Trade Commission recommended that individuals shred financial documents before disposing them. Businesses and individuals, who have confidential information to protect, have been more motivated to use paper shredder when information privacy laws like FACTA, HIPAA, Gramm-leach-Bliley Act have been promulgated.
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At these times, paper shredders come in different size and price, such that they can be small and inexpensive or they can be large units for commercial use and has the capacity to shred millions of documents per hour. Practical features have been added to improve on the paper shredder’s efficiency like a noise reduction unit or a controlling device that can reject the overloading of papers to prevent jamming.
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Services for paper shredding come in a form of mobile shredding truck, which is commonly used as an industrial-size shredder and used, at the same time, as storage space for the shredded materials. The kiosk type is an automated retail machine, an alternative solution, which is accessible to the public, instead of buying a private paper shredder. Furthermore, paper shredders can be outsourced by companies and shredding can be on-site or using mobile shredder trucks or having off-site shredding facilities. For this type of service, the documents, which are to be destroyed, are placed in locked bins and which are emptied periodically.

Shredded documents, in theory, should no longer be re-assembled and read, but, in reality, it is not a perfect process so it will depend on whether the shredding was well done or whether there are external forces that have been used to reconstruct the documents. In some cases, useful information can be obtained by forensic analysis of the paper, ink, and cutting method, even if the source has already been shredded.